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Montreal holds 1-0 lead over Vancouver Whitecaps FC ahead of second leg

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The Montreal Impact will aim to claim another ticket for the Canadian Championship final, this Wednesday night at 10pm EDT (, Yahoo Sports Canada, 98,5fm), in the national tournament’s semi-final second leg. The Bleu-blanc-noir is currently leading the tie thanks to a 1-0 win last week at Stade Saputo.

Almost at the end of an intense sequence

This semifinals second game is also the sixth outing of a series of seven in 22 days, across all competitions. In this context, the trip to the continent’s West Coast, which started on Saturday in Portland, where the Impact took a precious point on the road, is even more grueling.

Moreover, the clean sheet earned in Montreal last week will be all the more useful if the Bleu-blanc-noir can find a goal, as the first tiebreaker is the famous away goals rule.

“It’s important for us and for the club to add another trophy to our cupboard,” said midfielder Saphir Taïder. “We have one step before the final. It’s up to us to go over there as warriors, to put everything on our side and to win this game to go through to the final.”

A redesigned Canadian Championship format

For the first time this year, the Canadian Championship, the only road to the Concacaf Champions League for all clubs in the country, was open to semi-professional teams. The League 1 Ontario and Première ligue de soccer du Québec champions faced off in the preliminary round, before the knockout game against Ottawa Fury FC, from USL, with the winner going through to the semifinals. The three MLS clubs get the top three seeds in the tournament according to their finish in the 2017 MLS regular season table.

In the final, the winner of this home-and-away series between the Impact and the Whitecaps will face off with the winner of the other semi-final between Ottawa Fury FC and Toronto FC, who are the current Voyageurs Cup holders.

“That’s our goal, our main focus at the moment,” said defender Daniel Lovitz. “Any chance you get to play in a tournament, you take it. You don’t get a lot of opportunities for that. We had a good performance and a good result at home. We know they’ll play with energy and the crowd will be into it. It’s a great venue to play in and we come here to continue what we started.”

As a reminder, Montreal won two out of three series against the compatriots from British Columbia, notably last year, in a spectacular clash that ended 5-4 after two legs.

The Canadian Championship won in 2014 by the Impact let the club qualify for the 2014-15 Concacaf Champions League and ultimately to take part in this historic final against Club América.

Upcoming games

The Impact will be back home on Saturday, July 28 at 7pm – originally programmed for 7:30pm – to face Atlanta United, who is topping the Eastern Conference standings, at Stade Saputo (TICKETS – TVA Sports, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690). Then, on Saturday, August 4, D.C. United and England’s record goal scorer Wayne Rooney will be the Bleu-blanc-noir’s opponents on its turf (TICKETS – TVA Sports, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690).